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  President Trump Medal of Honor Ceremony  CSPAN  March 27, 2019 8:33pm-8:59pm EDT

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only thing we have to fear, is fear itself! what your country country canhat your do for you, ask what you can do for your country. and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon! [applause] >> c-span's newest book, the presidents. noted historians mark america's best and worst chief executives, provide insight into the lives of the 44 american president through stories gathered by interviews with noted presidential historians. explore the life events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced, and the legacies. they have left behind c-span's the presidents will be on shelves april 23. but you can order your
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copy today at c-span.org/thepresidents. or wherever books are sold. on wednesday, president trump posthumously awarded the medal of honor to army staff sergeant atkins, who died in a rack in 2007 after he tackled a suicide bomber to protect three fellow soldiers. the highest one of honors presented to service members who display acts of bravery in combat. the son of staff sergeant atkins was at the ceremony to accept the metal on his father's -- the medal on his father's behalf. ♪ [applause]
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scripturered spiri declares, i will hope in his word. my soul looks to the lord more than watchmen look to the morning, more indeed than watchmen look to the morning. love the lord, as a people, we thank you for those who wear the uniform and stand as watchmen, devoted in a service to you and our great nation. our hearts are especially grateful today for the extending a service of one such watchmen, staff sergeant travis atkins. a commitment to comrades and a duty.on to as his actions reflect his love for his country, fellow soldiers and a commitment to service before self, so make our faithfulness and conditional your faithfulness
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and conditional love continue to his prior us all. preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this great nation, i pray these things in your holy, mighty and majestic name, oh lord, amen. president trump: thank you very much. please. thank you. please. set down, please. thank you, chaplain, vice president pence, thank you, mike. members of congress, and distinguished military leaders. we are here today to award america's highest honor to a fallen hero who made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. staff sergeant travis atkins. please jointly me in welcoming the entire atkins family to the white house. thank you very much. [applause]
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[applause] president trump: thank you very much. joining us to accept the congressional medal of honor on behalf of travis is his son, trevor. thank you very much, trevor. we are also grateful to be joined by travis's parents, his mother, elaine, and his father, jack, who served as an army paratrooper in the vietnam war. thank you very much. [applause] president trump: also here with
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us is travis's sister jennifer, along with his uncle, sumner, and cousin, douglas. both are military veterans of great distinction, i might add. thank you very much. [applause] president trump: to the entire atkins family, we can never measure the true depth of our gratitude, or the full magnitude of your loss, but we can pay everlasting tribute to staff hiseant travis atkins, truly immortal act of valor. you.s indeed, thank we're also joined for today's ceremony by acting deputy secretary of defense david norquist. thank you, david. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, doing a fantastic job, general joseph dunford. thank you, general, thank you,
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joe. vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general paul selva,, paul, thank you secretary of the army, mark esper, mark, thank you mark; army chief of staff general mark millie, thank you, general, thanks, mark; chief of the general guard bureau general joseph lange joe and sergeant measure? ? >> major of the arm -- sergeant major of the army. think you all very much. great people, they are doing an amazing job. thank you also to senators steve daines and jon tester. thank you. thank you. jon, thank you. representative banks, gianforte michaelete stolberg and
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walls. thank you all. thank you. [applause] and finally, we are privileged to be in the presence of five previous medal of honor tied carter, harvey ronald, william swenson, and brian thacker. thank you all very much. great people. [applause] president trump: today, the name of staff sergeant travis atkins will be etched alongside the names of america's bravest warriors and written forever into america's heart. invis grew up on a farm bozeman, montana. he was also an always most at middle of the
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wilderness. he loved the wilderness. he loved to camp, to fish and to hunt. and he loved to raise that snowmobile, as you know, right? after travis graduated high school, he worked as a painter and mechanic before he joined the army at the age of 24. in march, 2001, his parents went to his basic training graduation ceremony at fort denning, ,eorgia -- fort benning georgia. when he graduated, he said basic training was the best time i have ever had in my life. in other words, he loved it. [laughter] president trump: travis quickly excelled in the army and was offered a number of different assignments, but always, he chose the infantry. he loved the infantry. to be,raeli wanted defending freedom on the frontiers with his fellow foot soldiers. and they were all his great friends.
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in 2003, travis served on his first appointment in iraq rack with the historic 101st airborne division and participated in operation iraqi freedom. the harrowingeted the pointed -- harrowing deployment, travis returned to civilian life. but not for long. he was lord. he was very bored. he wanted back in. as his mother elaine has said, travis love to the army and he loved everything about being with the troops. he just loved it. in 2005, he reenlisted and joined the legendary 10th mountain division based at fort drum, new york, where he was honored to visit last year. , travis left2006 his second deployment to iraq.
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he was stationed in a hotbed of terror and terrorist activity known as the triangle of death. not a good place. of june 1, 2007, in a town outside of baghdad, travis and his three squad -- three-manport squad received a report that suspected terrorists were walking to an intersection nearby. nothing good was going to happen, they all knew it travis directed his squad immediately to the location, and when they arrived, he got out of the humvee and walked toward the two suspicious men. and he knew right from the beginning. as travis began to search, one of the insurgents, the man resisted and became totally violent. travis engaged him in combat.hand
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as travis wrestled to get the enemy's hands behind his back, the man began to reach for something, and travis knew what it was. he realized the man was wearing a suicide vest. just as a terrorist was about to set off the deadly explosives, travis wrapped his arms and his entire body around him and threw him to the ground, away from his troops who were right next to him. he put himself on the top of the enemy and he shielded his men from certain death. the terrorist detonated his suicide vest and travis was instantly killed. earth,final moments on travis did not run. he didn't know what it was to run. he did not hesitate. he rose to the highest calling. he lay down his life to save the lives of his fellow warriors. embodied thehe
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deepest meaning of the motto of the 10th mountain division, he climbed to glory. now, travis is looking down from above on all of us, on all his fellow warriors, on his great family. wrapped in glory, the loving glory of almighty god. byare grateful to be joined the three squad members that travis saved. kivate first class michael where are you, michael? thank you. please stand. [applause] >> specialist travis robertshaw. travis, thank you. thank you, travis.
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ao.specialist sand thank you very much. [applause] you. i appreciate it. today we are privileged also to be joined by more than 50 soldiers from the 10th mountain division, including those who served alongside travis, knew he was brave from day one. they really loved him, they wanted to be here. would you please stand? [applause]
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president trump: thank you very much. thank you for being here. your lives of service do honor to our country. to army values. and your fallen brothers in arms like staff sergeant travis atkins, and he is looking down. he loves you all. just a few days before that june morning, when travis left on his last mission, he called his son, trevor, to wish him a very, very special element birthday. trevor didn't know he would speak to his dad for the last time -- special 11th birthday. trevor didn't know he would speak to his dad for the last time. but he has always known since that his father gave his life for freedom. a new his father was a hero from the beginning. long before today. trevor has said he wants our
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nation to remember his dad as the best father and best soldier anyone could ask for. wellr, that is exactly how -- how your dad will be remembered. he will be remembered truly as the best father and the best soldier. you cannot get better than the congressional medal of honor. you just can't. so thank you very much. and i would like you to come on up, please come up. [applause] president trump: your father's courage and sacrifice will live for all time. and every time we see our stars and stripes waving in the sky we will thank our great travis. americanthink of every
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hero who gave their last breath to defend our liberty, our homeland, our people, and the great american flag. now, i would like to ask the read theaide to citation. i would also like perhaps in honor of your father, perhaps you could say a few words? please. trevor: thank you, everyone, for being here first off. it is an absolute honor to have every single one of you here. it is something that i can't really put into words, it is something that is surreal. i still haven't fully accepted it yet. just all over our appreciation for his men, everything have said to me over the last few days has meant the road to me and it changes my life every -- has meant the world to me and it changes my life every single day. the medal is something that
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creates pride, but the words are the real prize. when it comes to my dad, he always said the funniest stories about you guys, and i was a young kid, but he let me know. [laughter] i feel so close with you and to him, with every story i get to hear. i am glad you got to enjoy his love and his energy. thank you. president trump: beautiful. [applause] >> the president of the united states has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor posthumously to staff sergeant travis atkins of the united states army. staff sergeant atkins distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call
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june, 2007 while serving with the second battalion, 14th infantry regiment, second brigade combat team, 10th mountain division, in support of operation iraqi freedom. while manning a post in a rock, staff sergeant atkins was notified that for suspicious individuals walking in two pairs were crossing an intersection not far from his position. staff sergeant atkins immediately moved to interdict them. one individual began behaving erratically, prompting staff sergeant atkins to approach to search.a both individuals responded belligerently toward staff sergeant are kids who then engaged the individual he had intended to search in combat.hand when he noticed the insurgent was reaching for something, staff sergeant atkins immediately wrapped him in a bear hug and threw him to the ground away from his fellow soldiers. maintaining his hold, he pinned him to the ground, further
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patrol.ng his the insurgent then detonated a bomb strapped to his body, atkins.sergeant in this critical and selfless act of valor, staff sergeant atkins acted with complete disregard for his own safety, saving the lives of those with giving. his life for his country staff sergeant atkins' undaunted courage, warrior spirit and devotion to duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect himself, the 10th division, and the united states army. [applause]
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[applause] >> received this blessing. the love of god as our ever-present love and hope, we ourthat you protect all of now in harms way, and sustain our nations worry is with faith and fortitude as they walk the path of duty far from perth and
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home. restore our souls in the joy of your spirit and teaches your ways, that we might always walk and served with integrity in honor. we ask these things in your holy name, i pray. amen. president trump: thank you very much. thank you. ♪ [god bless america ♪]
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god bless ♪ announcer: this weekend on american history tv, world war ii navajo car code talkers, and a look back at the three mile accident.lear power saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, the first of six interviews with a former world war ii navajo code talkers who served in the marine corps and used their native language to secretly communicate operation plans. code took us, the navajo talkers, compelled to use their language, and they devised it, they skimmed it in such a way
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of, a veryyed a role unique role of confusing the enemy . announcer: live sunday morning at 8:30 eastern on american history tv and on c-span's washington journal, the 40th anniversary of the three-mile island nuclear power plant accident near harrisburg, pennsylvania, considered the most serious nuclear accident in the united states. we are joined by historian and author samuel walker, acting director of the project for the union of concerned scientists, and also a cofounder of concerned mothers and women in pennsylvania. at 4:00 p.m. on real bama america, watch the cbs report followed from three-mile island. with yourstay indoors windows closed. >> for almost a week last month, the people of middletown,
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pennsylvania, lived in fear of an enemy to couldn't see, hear or feel. announcer: watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. sunday night on q&a, supreme upict reporter joan bisk talks about her recent book, a biography of chief justice john roberts. >> however john roberts what's now that anthony kennedy has gone, he is going to determine the law of the land. so the liberals won him to come over, inch over a little bit, but the consumers are trying to hold them back, meanwhile, you have this chief justice declaring -- there is no such thing as an obama judge, there is no such thing as a trump judge, there is no such thing as a bush judge. he wants to project that it is when they all
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have their agendas of sorts . announcer: sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. coming up next on c-span, we hear from the secretary of state mike pompeo at a house foreign affairs hearing. after that, former vice president joe biden talks about combating sexual assault in new later.ty , transportation and aviation officials testify on capital hill about airline safety concerns after two deadly crashes led to the grounding of boeing 737 max jets. secretary of state mike pompeo was on capitol hill to testify about the president's 22 request for the state department. this was one of two congressional hearings that the secretary appeared out on wednesday, where he also faced questions about u.s. foreign policy towards saudi arabia, north korea, and